VietNamNet: China’s unruly actions have spurred domestic and international public opinion to believe that it is time for us to sue China in the international court of justice. What is your thought about this?
Ngo Huu Phuoc: I do not oppose this plan. However, I believe that in the current situation, as well as based on the practice of dispute resolution of the International Court of Justice – the principal judicial body of the UN – we need careful study. Because the dispute settlement mechanism in the international court of justice is not simple.
I said it is not simple – or in the other words it is particularly complex – because of the political factors relating to the findings and judgment of the International Court of Justice. For example, immediately after Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, through the General Assembly, Serbia asked the International Court of Justice the question “Is Kosovo’s declaration of independence consistent with international law or not?”
After two years, the Court concluded that Kosovo’s declaration of independence is indeed in accordance with international law. In my opinion, this is a conclusion with political color, which is inconsistent with international law, creating a dangerous precedent, and encouraging secessionist actions of “sensitive” territories in any number of countries around the world. If the court was fair it should have concluded that Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia is a violation of international law.